KEYS FOR THE KINGDOM - calling
Hello fellow believers, Christian comrades and friends of faith. I hope things are well with you and that you are enjoying God every day. We can and ought to do that you know because He loves us so and He is much greater and wiser than any challenge, hurt, or failure we have to deal with. Ironically, the more problems we have, our Lord just gets better and bigger. I think it’s because we depend on and trust Him more. Sometimes, when success comes, it distracts us so much, we start looking at and depending on the success and neglect the One who enabled us to attain it.
To be saved by grace, to be adopted into God’s very family is our greatest blessing! There could be nothing better than being ‘saved.’ I don’t think we dwell on that enough! The reason we don’t is that we had absolutely nothing to do with it. God did it all, Jesus paid it all and the Holy Spirit reveals it all. Lately, I have been prompted to pray that others might know the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Sometimes I name individuals specifically as potential recipients of redeeming grace, and sometimes it’s a general petition. What has impressed me to pray the prayer is that I know the difference the Holy Spirit and salvation can make in a person’s life. I also know that only God can make it happen, that no sin is greater than His grace and that He saves to the uttermost those who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
Because our God is living and is sovereign and merciful there is hope and help for the world, for our loved ones, and for us. The reason this world is still here is because God is still calling people out of the darkness into His marvelous light, out of bondage into the freedom of denying self and following Jesus. Yes, miracles are happening every day and there is no greater miracle than birth, especially if it’s the second one!
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Ex- cept a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
In regeneration, we are recreated so to speak. We receive a new heart, new feet, new hands, a new mind, and new eyes. At this point we realize that this world is not really our home, that disobedience to our Heavenly Father breaks our heart and that we want to help others, not to get something in return, but because we love them.
We have surely been blessed most wonderfully at SPBC to have the privilege and witness of assembling for worship on Sunday mornings. The attendance and unity at 4 South Zetterower Avenue is strong and real and it makes for a fertile, spiritual field. I am humbly honored to be your pastor and to be a part of your walk with the Lord in His kingdom on earth.
“Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.”
Calling means vocation. Vocation is a summons or strong inclination to a particular state or course of action. So, our calling is our initiative to not only live life, but to live it with purpose and enthusiasm! Life is a gift because it comes with a calling. Life is precious because the calling is from God; it is divine and it is limited by time. Life is short and so is our calling.
There is a big difference between a vocation and a vacation. Actually, the difference is one letter and that letter is revealing. The second letter in the word vocation is “o.” This reminds us that our vocational calling is comprised of doing the things and living the way we “ought” to do and live. The second letter in vacation is “a.” It reminds us that we go on vacations to get away from “aggravations.”
The kingdom of God here on earth does not offer any vacations. Heaven might be viewed as a vacation, but we’re not there yet! God has called us out of darkness into His marvelous, wonderful light, not to try to avoid aggravations, but to live for Him who died for us.
“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.” Ephesians 4:1
Called To Be Blessed
Calling is a kingdom key because of our status as adopted children of God. Blessed means happy and God’s people ought to be the happiest people on earth. A divine calling is rooted in grace and defines a believer’s most wonderful place.
“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” 2 Timothy 1:9
“Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glori- fied.” Romans 8:30
God doesn’t command us to rejoice all the time without good reason. We are called to be happy and if we’re not, we need to look for this key else we’ll not be
able to open the door of our calling. Believers are called to be blest because they are. Happiness is not based on circumstances, but on status. Being forgiven and possessing eternal life is an unspeakable blessing. The only way the redeemed can say so is by being happy!
Called To Test
God never blesses us without testing us. The greatest problem anyone can have is to have no problems at all. Problems give us purpose, but they also give us power. If we are blest because of our status (and we surely are), then we are strengthened because of our state (our sanctification). We all are a work in progress and like clay in the Potter’s hand, we are shaped and formed into Christlikeness by trials and temptations. Testing is a vital part of kingdom life.
The tests and trials we face are very important to God because they reveal our love and devotion to Him. He can tell by the way we react to problems how much we love Him and trust Him. Remember if God brings or allows trouble in our lives, He will bring us through it. Jesus Christ glorified His Heavenly Father more on the cross than any other place. Likewise, our crosses are not losses, nor are they our bosses. Rather, our crosses are the keys to keeping God first in our lives so that we find strength when we’re weak and have His power to perform His kingdom work.
“Tempted and tried we’re oft made to wonder why it should be thus all the day long... Cheer up my brother, live in the sunshine, We’ll understand it all by and by.” Farther Along
Called To Do Our Best
No matter what we do, what we have or where we go, we must remember who we are, where we come from, and where we are going. We are heirs of righteousness, saved by God’s amazing grace. We came from hell, and we are going to heaven! Nothing is ever achieved without enthusiasm. Enthusiasm means “God within.” Kingdom life is to be lived with graceful gusto as well as grateful giving of our all. After all, all we have came from God and we ourselves are not our own. We were bought by the shed blood of Jesus on the cross of Calvary. Now, it doesn’t matter how talented we are, our profession is, what color our skin is, nor what our education as far as kingdom work is concerned. What does matter is that we do all we can, aswell as we can, for as long as we can!
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
Called to Rest
This world is a ‘rat race,’ but kingdom life is a resting place! Sometimes God makes us lie down in green pastures and in hospital beds. When that happens, we must realize that it may be our calling and is a key to His heavenly kingdom on earth. Godnever closes a door without opening a window. But most of the time, we don’t look out of a window until we’re flat on our backs. When we are called aside and can only suffer, when we are sick, when we are overwhelmed with pain, when all our activities cease, we often feel we are no good for anything or anyone. But that is the very time that we can be a greater blessing to others and bring greater glory to God than when we were so active and thought we were doing so much. Every day in the kingdom of our Lord, we ought to find a resting place. There is a wonderful hymn we sometimes sing entitled, “Near to the Heart of God.” That song sings of kingdom rest when it says, “There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God.” We need to rest our case, our concerns and our calling with Jesus!
“There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God.”
Near to the Heart of God
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Our Christian Calling
This world can be a noisy place
with all the fears and storms we face
But the shout and pressure to make a choice
is silenced by a sweet, still small voice!
This voice is heard best on bended knees
like peaceful winds through tall pine trees.
Press on my friend, you don’t have to fall,
use what you have and answer His call.